Free Download - 17 Essential Strum Patterns PDF
Learning Guitar Music By Ear
By Shawn Bradshaw
When choosing a song to learn by ear, start with
a simple song in which the chords change slowly. The chords should
be power chords, major
and minor bar chords, or basic
open position chords with the bass player playing the basic
root (letter name) of the chord.
As a start here are some examples to figure out. Go through the
following steps to learn these examples.
- Listen to the 1st chord. rule #1 - never play while listening.
(You may hear what you are playing and not what's on the recording.
Later after you have decided on a chord you may want to play
along with the recording as another way to double check yourself.
- Find the root note of the 1st chord. If you have no idea where
to start, play the open 6th string and try out all of the notes
on the 6th string up to the 11th fret. This will cover all of
the possibilities. Listen to the bass player to help find which
note is the root of the chord. In a simple song the bass player
will mostly play root notes an octave lower than the guitar.
At first listen to all of the possibilities, the right one should
stand out. If not try again. Try to hear if the note you are
looking for is higher or lower than the note you are playing,
and move up or down accordingly.
- Once you have found the root, find what type of chord is being
played. Hopefully the first songs that you attempt will have
only major, minor, or power chords in them. An over simplification
of how chord qualities sound is as follows:
|major chord = happy sound
minor chord = sad sound
power chords = indifferent sound
You can have major chords in sad songs and minor chords in
happy songs. It is the feel of the individual chord and not
the feel of the song. To help in making this decision you should
play the note that is different between the major and minor
chord with the recording (there is only one). The wrong answer
should stick out because it will clash against the the right
chord. If both sound OK then it might be a power chord.
||The blue note is the note in the Am (minor)
chord, and the red is the note in the A (major).
- The next step is to listen to whether the 2nd chord is higher
or lower then the 1st chord. At this point you have a couple
of different ways of finding the next chord. You can use the
method that you used to find the 1st chord, or you could try
the following. Play the root note of the 1st chord followed
by a bass note in the direction of the 2nd chord (up or down
in sound). In this way your ear will hear the relationship between
the 2 notes. Again the right answer should stick out, but it
does take some time to get quick at this so be patient. Once
you have made a choice, try playing your 2 roots along with
the recording to double check yourself. If they are right then
find the quality of the 2nd chord (major, minor, etc.)
- Use the same techniques to figure out the rest of the chords
in the song. Try to hear if the song returns to a chord that
you have already played. In a simple song there is usually between
2 to 6 chords. Songs always keep returning to the same chords,
in the same order as before or mixed up.
17 Essential Strum Patterns PDF - Free Download